La Vergne working to retrain city employees after police sex scandal
Officials said they were making changes after the scandal. Suspended employees are set to return without completed training.
LA VERGNE, Tenn. (WSMV) - New details are being released on how the City of La Vergne is moving forward after the police sex scandal that made national headlines.
Five officers were fired, and three officers were suspended earlier this month after an investigation found some members of the La Vergne Police Department’s evening shift were having sex with each other while on duty and on city property. The investigative report also highlighted a raucous hot tub party and the exchange of explicit naked photos between officers.
At the time the investigation was released, city officials released statements calling the officer’s actions “unacceptable” and committed to making changes to prevent a similar scandal from happening again. That included retraining all city employees on the “rules, regulations, and expectations set forth by city leadership.”
“Our top priority moving forward will include rebuilding the public’s trust,” Mayor Jason Cole said at the time. “I have full confidence in the police department’s leadership team and their ability to lead the department.”
With the suspended officers set to return to duty as soon as this weekend, a city spokesperson said the retraining has not yet been completed. The city hopes to begin and complete the training within the next three months, according to a spokesperson.
WSMV4 requested a copy of the retraining materials, but a city spokesperson said none are available at this time.
Personnel files WSMV4 obtained for the eight La Vergne police officers involved in the investigation found many of them had at least one disciplinary action taken against them in the past. That includes multiple unpaid suspensions for policy violations and a previous sexual misconduct investigation.
“We are working diligently to rebuild the trust of our citizens and our community,” Police Chief Burrel “Chip” Davis said in a statement earlier this month. “We understand this will take time and diligence from our command staff and officers to repair the honor and integrity of our department.”
Chief Davis said that included bringing in counselors to help officers process what had happened. A spokesperson said officers were able to meet with members of the Tennessee Public Safety Network off-site on Wednesday at no additional cost to the city.
WSMV 4 has tried to reach officers involved in the sex investigation to get their side of the story. We have not heard back.
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